Tag Archives: fruit

Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Strawberries are everywhere at the moment, made famous by Wimbledon’s strawberries and cream, they are the perfect summer fruit. Therefore also the perfect fruit to use in your baking this summer! I can’t seem to get enough of strawberries right now but chocolate and strawberry are a perfect combination.

I finished University recently, finished 6 years of medical school and had a lovely graduation day (you can see a picture of me on my graduation day below) earlier this month at Royal Festival Hall as well as a graduation ball at the Tower of London. A fantastic end to an amazing 6 years! During my last placement I had promised my class that I would bake them something and bring it in, I made them 12 of these strawberry and chocolate cupcakes and 12 orange and lemon cupcakes and then transported them across London in my amazing 24 cupcake carrier! These cupcakes are chocolate sponge iced with a strawberry cream cheese frosting topped with a strawberry and a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes

For the cupcakes I based the chocolate cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook as I find this Hummingbird recipe works very well every time, it is also a lovely moist chocolate cake. I used it in my very first blog post – Black Forest Cupcakes and also for these Christmas cupcakes. This time I adjusted the measurements of the ingredients to give a slightly bigger cupcake.

Cupcakes

To make 12 cupcakes you will need:

150g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
210g caster sugar
2.5 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
60g unsalted butter (softened slightly)
180ml whole milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and beat slowly until the mixture looks sandy. You can do this with your fingers if you prefer, rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients. Whisk the milk, eggs and vanilla together and pour half of this into the flour mix in the bowl. Beat well before adding the remaining milk and egg mix and beating again until well combined. The mixture should be smooth. Pour or spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake cakes until about two thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C. When they are done they should be bouncy to touch. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Chocolate cupcakes

To make the strawberry cream cheese frosting (I used this recently without the strawberry on some vanilla and raspberry cupcakes) you will need:

200g unsalted butter (softened)
200g cream cheese
500g icing sugar (sifted)
3 tbsp strawberry purée (made from fresh strawberries)
pink food colouring (I use the Sugarflair pastes)

Start by making the strawberry purée with a handful of fresh strawberries. There is no need to cook the strawberries first, using a food processor purée the strawberries. If you don’t have a food processor or blender just use an electric hand whisk. Once you have made a purée push it through a fine sieve to remove the little strawberry seeds that coat the strawberries on the outside.

Beat together the butter and icing sugar until well combined and then add the cream cheese and beat well. Finally add the strawberry puree and pink food colouring until you get your desired colour. If you are using the pastes, a little goes a long way. Beat well but don’t over mix or the frosting will go runny. If this happens you can add more icing sugar or you can leave the frosting in the fridge to firm up so that you can pipe it.

Strawberry frosting

Now it is time to assemble the cupcakes! Use a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle (I used the Wilton 1M to create a Mr Whippy style swirl) to pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top each cake with half a strawberry and drizzle with melted chocolate. Leave the chocolate to set before serving. Enjoy some lovely fruity, summery cupcakes!

Cupcakes on stand

And here is a picture of me with my siblings on my graduation day, it was such a lovely day and a great way to end 6 years. Hope you like the shoes! On to the next chapter!

GraduationLottie xx

PS. I am entering these fruity cupcakes into this month’s Tea Time Treats and this month’s Calendar Cakes as theme for both is fruit! Tea Time Treats is hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked. Calendar Cakes is hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes.

calendar-cakes

tea time treats

 

hot cross scones

Hot Cross Scones

Hot Cross Scones

Happy Easter everybody! The sun is out and it looks like it is going to be a glorious Easter Sunday! Easter is also the perfect time to bake, if you are a chocolate fan you won’t be short of ideas and if you like making bread then chances are you will be making some hot cross buns this weekend. Last year I made hot cross buns but I also made a German Easter bread which is a bit like brioche, it is called Osterzopf. This year however I didn’t have the time to make bread and needed something much quicker, I therefore turned to Hot Cross Scones, just like Hot Cross Buns but in a scone form! Perfect for those of you that don’t have the time to wait around for bread to rise! I used this recipe from Delicious Magazine but took my influence from the cross from a simnel cake by using marzipan and grilling it to give it some colour.

You will need:

225g self raising flour
75 g butter
40g brown sugar
75g small sultanas
50g cut mixed peel
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 large egg beaten
4tbsp milk

Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, sultanas, peel and spice and mix in. Add the milk and egg and bring together to form a soft dough. Knead gently to bring the dough together and roll out to 2cm thickness.  Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the scones, don’t twist  the cutter or the scones won’t rise evenly. Brush the tops of the scones with milk. Add flour crosses if using. Bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 15 minutes.

Now for the cross, you can either do as the recipe suggests and use plain flour and water. If you are doing this then mix 50g plain flour with 1-2 tbsp water. Roll out, cut strips and place the cross on the scones. Do this before baking. When the scones come out of the oven dissolve 2 tbsp caster sugar in hot water and brush over the tops of the scones to give them a glaze.

If you are using marzipan crosses:

Brush the tops of the scones

 

You need marzipan, apricot jam and a beaten egg yolk.

Roll out the marzipan until it is quite thin and cut into strips. Warm some apricot jam in a pan and brush over the tops of the scones to glaze them and also help the marzipan stick. Arrange the marzipan strips on top of the scones to form a cross and trim the edges. Brush the marzipan crosses with beaten egg yolk.

scones 2

 

Place the scones under a heated grill to brown the marzipan, watch them very closely, this will happen quickly and you don’t want them to burn. Be careful when removing them as they will be very hot. Allow to cool.

Scones

Enjoy your almost hot cross buns, quick and easy hot cross scones!

Lottie xx

raspberrybrownie150

Raspberry Coconut Brownies

When my brother and sister come round they are pretty much expecting cake, so with them coming round last night I had to whisk up something that was fairly quick.

I walked through Borough Market yesterday on my way back from uni before getting the train from London Bridge and one of the fruit and veg stalls was selling 2 punnets of raspberries for £1, which was pretty much irresistable. And don’t they look delicious?
Raspberries

Now if you have been to Borough Market you will have seen the stalls that sell absolutely huuuuge slabs of brownies. So I think I pretty much already had brownie on the brain after seeing them. So I though why not make raspberry brownies. Then I opened my cupboard in my kitchen and saw a packet of desiccated coconut sitting there and I got the even better idea of raspberry and coconut brownies. Perfect!
Here is the recipe I created:

150g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate
150g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
80g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
60g desiccated coconut
raspberries

Melting

Start by melting the butter and chocolate together in a pan, add both of the sugars and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Take it off the heat and leave it to cool for a few minutes before adding the 3 eggs and mixing them in. Next add the flour and baking powder and fold them into the mixture. Finally, stir in the coconut.

Now pour the brownie mixture into a brownie pan lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the raspberries over the top of the mixture and pop it in the oven at 180C for about 40-45 minutes.

Pouring

Sprinkle brownie with raspberries

Brownies

Brownie with raspberries

Lottie xx

ps. I have entered these into The Pink Whisk November Challenge!

chocolatepeartart150

Delicious chocolate and pear tart

Chocolate and pear tart

I made this for dinner at a friends house recently and it was so yummy that I just had to post the recipe for it. I always seem to get given the task of dessert when its an ‘everyone’ brings a course’ dinner. Not that I mind! Sorry for the lack of photos, this is the only one I took as I was in rather a rush and had to transport it all the way across London to the party before adding the finishing touches. But it is a lovely autumn recipe, and again is best eaten warm.

For the pastry:
2 tbsp cocoa powder
210g plain flour
150g unsalted butter
75g icing sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water

Mix the cocoa, flour and butter until they look like breadcrumbs, then add the icing sugar and salt and mix again. Add the egg and a little water if needed to bind it together. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for half an hour. Roll it out on a surface dusted with icing sugar and line a 25cm tart tin with it (here’s where I wish I had one of those loose bottomed tart tins!). Pop it back in the fridge to firm up. Line it with greaseproof paper and add the baking beans and bake for 15 mins at 200C. Remove from the oven and remove the beans and paper.

For the filling:
125g butter, softened
100g soft dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
125g ground almonds
185g dark chocolate melted
4 pears (these need to be very ripe and soft, if they are hard then poach them to soften them a bit)
3 tsp caster sugar

Beat the butter and brown sugar together, add the eggs one at a time, then add the almonds, and finally the melted chocolate. Pour this into your part cooked pastry case.
Peel and halve the pears (poach if necessary to soften) and arrange them on top of the filling. Sprinkle them with a little caster sugar to give them some colour when they cook.
Pop the whole thing in the oven at 180C for 45 mins.

To finish it I just drizzled it with some more chocolate and sprinkled over some chopped hazelnuts.

Enjoy!

Lottie xx